When preparing for the GMAT, reading stories of how other people prepared and scored on the GMAT really helped me, so I thought I would return the favor.
I got a 650 (Q35, V 44, AWA 6)
So here we go, using the standard template:
* Books & materials used:
1. Princeton Review Cracking the GMAT
- read it cover to cover. Not really worth it other than for the practice tests.
2. OG 12
- Obviously this is essential.
3. Manhattan GMAT
Official Guide Companion - Very much recommend this. Not only does it go through each question in the OG, but it gives it a level of difficulty so you can zero in on your Quant level.
* Test scores - Took a bunch of practice tests (about one per week) from different companies. The 2 GMAC tests were the most accurate
1. Princeton Review (540, V31 Q33)
2. Princeton Review (570, V36, Q33)
3. GMAC TestPrep (650, V 41, Q 39)
4. MGMAT (640, V36, Q 42)
5. MGMAT (600, V36, Q36)
6. Princeton Review (570, V33, Q36)
7. MGMAT (700, V42, Q43)
8. MGMAT (690, V39, Q 45)
(600, V39, Q36)
10. MGMAT (640, V34, Q43)
11. Knewton (650, V38, Q43)
12. GMAC (670, V41, Q40)
13. Actual GMAT (650, V44, Q 35)
* Length of study - 4 Months
* General strategy - I was able to take my time because I do not want to go to B school until august 2012. As such, I basically made a point to study the basics (especially math, because I do well on verbal) and then take tests each week or two weeks to benchmark my progress. I heavily relied on MGMAT's OG companion because its difficulty ratings allowed me to focus on 500-600 level math, and then on 600-700 level math as I got better and better. I started to keep an error log
but it really did not help me a whole lot on quant because my quant skills were all basically in need of study. The error log
only helped on verbal, because I was able to see that I needed brush up on CR, but not SC.
* If you found any interesting blogs or materials online, consider providing a link. - This site helped a great deal, especially the GMAT questions of the day. Also, if you get MGMAT books
, you get access to their flash cards which are also helpful. Overall, MGMAT is a good company and I would stick with them. Their practice tests are pretty accurate too.
* Words of Advice
o Things you wish you knew - Ok here is my big word of advice for test day. Make sure you take 6 minutes per break and NOTHING MORE. This is because the test people need to keep rescanning your palm when you go in and out, and then have to sign into the computer when you want to continue. My person could not type for the life of her, and she cost me like 10 seconds on the quant.
o Things you have learned - Consistency takes time, and that the GMAC tests are the best indicators.
o Things you wasted your time on - reading the Princeton Review book. No real need other than to quickly look up a math skill. Also don't get the MGMAT Math foundations
book unless you are REALLY bad in quant.
o Finally, your test experience - Pretty intense. The thing that threw me off (other than the incompetence of the perason vue people) was the scrap "paper." It is not paper at, infact, its laminated paper and a sharpie. Very messy and hard to deal with if you are like me and like to keep a neat set of scrap paper.
That's everything. I may take the test again, since I know I can get a similar Verbal score and can improve the Quant score. Good luck to everyone, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.